Yoko Hwang | IE School of Architecture and Design

Yoko Hwang

About me

My name is Yoko and I was born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay. I decided to study the Bachelor in Design because of the program’s breadth of topics—it’s a program I haven’t seen offered in any other university. I wanted a program that was unique and would open many doors for me around the world. I must admit that, in my first year, I wasn’t sure if it was for me. However, I’m so glad I stuck it out – I’ve learned so much and made friends for life!

shapeYoko Hwang
case2Undergraduate student
studentBacherlor in Design
Yoko Hwang  | IE School of Architecture and Design

"The diversity of this program is unique. I haven’t seen a program like it at any other university."

Yoko Hwang

Diving deeper into the design world

This was the first edition of the Bachelor in Design and a steep learning curve. Yoko began her freshman year not knowing how to use a lot of design software, nor did she know how to present a design project. However, she was eager to learn, and threw herself into the experience wholeheartedly.

Of course, it was not only challenging for the students. Her professors were teaching this course for the first time, so both students and faculty members learned a lot as each year passed. She believes the variety of the program has lent itself to its success. In Yoko’s words, “I think the diversity of this program itself has allowed us to explore and learn about different areas of design and slowly start to develop our own aesthetics and tastes within the design world.”

Yoko had the opportunity to study in both Segovia and Madrid, something she was initially unsure about. It turned out to be a hugely enjoyable experience, and Segovia exceeded all of her expectations. A smaller city with a community feel, it turned out to be the perfect place to begin her journey at IE University.

During her time in Segovia, Yoko made a lot of friends. She says that orientation week in her first year was a great way to meet people, and of course living in student residences was fantastic for making friends. Outside of the classroom, she took advantage of the various campus groups and clubs available to students. In 2018, she joined the student government social media committee, where they created content for their social media.

In that same year she decided to give back by joining the mentorship program. Their role was to guide incoming Bachelor in Design students and help them settle in. Yoko was able to share her own experience with the incoming students, answer any questions they had and show them the best spots in town.

When it comes to academic life, Yoko valued the emphasis her professor put on freedom and exploration. “This course was structured to allow us to explore each topic and make our own decisions.” She adds that this was the perfect opportunity for each student to explore the area of design that they liked and wanted to focus on in the professional world.

Her favorite subject? It’s hard to choose. Yoko says that she would have always opted for the design studio courses she had throughout the four years, but now believes her favorite was the final project. For Yoko, this was the perfect opportunity to choose the area of design she was most passionate about. On top of that, she had the freedom to choose her own topic for the project—something she’s grateful for.

“My favorite subject was my final project. This was the moment where each of us was able to choose the area of design we’re passionate about. There was a lot of freedom in how we explored the topic, which enabled us to dive into an area of design we are eager to pursue in the professional world.”

Over the course of the bachelor’s program, Yoko developed both academically and personally. Thanks to her close-knit network of friends and helpful professors, she has grown in many ways. It amazes her to think that at the beginning of her course, she was considering leaving.

If she could go back and give first-year Yoko any advice, what would it be? To stick it out! Yoko says that in first year she considered changing universities, as she thought maybe it wasn’t for her. “I would tell first-year ‘me’ not to lose hope, that it gets better and will end up being worth all those sleepless nights.”

Yoko believes that because the Bachelor in Design is so broad, it will allow you to follow any career in design. She mentions UX, graphics, product and branding as potential career paths. Looking to the future, she’s about to start a Master in Motion Media Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia this September.

We wish Yoko all the best in what we’re sure is an exciting future!